Let us be grateful for the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.
[Now you can listen to the Big Fresh as a podcast.]
I am happy to share some of the exciting things happening around Choice Literacy. We have been highlighting forms, templates, and printables for you to download. This week Christy Rush-Levine shares her classroom library permission slip that she sends home with her middle school students, as well as an initial reader’s notebook entry form. You won’t want to miss her informative and inspiring new article, “A Case for Graphic Novels as Real Reading.” You can find a link below in the Classic Classroom section.
We are pleased to announce updates with our group memberships. Literacy Team memberships offer a discounted rate, as well as the ease of managing your team through a group dashboard. Click here to check out all of our membership options.
Join our Choice Literacy Book Club. We have the most eclectic list because our contributors select the monthly reads, and they vary from picture books to manga to young adult novels. You can join the book club and dip in according to your interest and availability. Stay in the know by registering here.
We have been diligent about adding courses for you to explore. All courses are free to our Literacy Leader and Literacy Team members. Some are free to Classic Classroom members. Anyone may purchase a course for unlimited access to its content. When you complete a course, you may download a course completion certificate that logs the course’s professional learning hours.
Each week our podcast highlights the features in the newsletter, and on the last Friday of the month, we share the book club conversation. You can listen to the Choice Literacy Big Fresh podcast wherever you listen to podcasts.
We want to get to know you better. Please say hello through your favorite social media stomping grounds. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter to stay in the know with the latest K-12 literacy practices as well as participate in fun conversations and giveaways.
This week we look at expanding reading choices for students—plus more, as always.
Editor in Chief
P.S. Do you know you can hit Reply and email me back? I’m happy to hear from you or answer questions.
This month’s featured contributor is Leigh Anne Eck. Leigh Anne teaches sixth grade at George Rogers Clark Middle School in Vincennes, Indiana. She is passionate about connecting her students with books and helping teachers believe they are writers. She shares her reading, writing, and teaching life on her blog A Day in the Life and on Twitter @Teachr4.
Join the Choice Literacy Book Club! Leigh Anne Eck selected the young adult novel Enduring Freedom by Jawad Arash and Trent Reedy as our October read. Grab a copy, and join the conversation using the hashtag #ChoiceLiteracyBookClub.
The Choice Literacy Book Club discusses Enduring Freedom on the podcast.
Gretchen Schroeder reflects on why some of her students have developed a fear of reading by the time they reach high school. (This article was first published in 2018.)
Dana Murphy outlines the teaching practices that she learned from remote teaching and plans to carry with her upon returning to a physical classroom. (This article was first published in April 2021.)
UPCOMING NEW COURSE! We are getting ready to release Stella Villalba‘s new course Honoring Our Students’ Stories: Building an Intentional and Inclusive Learning Community.
Stella Villalba teaches us how to discover, honor, and share student stories to create an inclusive learning community. With special attention to English learners, Stella walks educators through a process to intentionally honor the past and present of students to position all students to grow as readers and writers.
New members-only content is added each week to the Choice Literacy website. If you’re not yet a member, click here to explore membership options.
Christy Rush-Levine makes a case for the robust nature of reading graphic novels. Included are two downloads: a classroom library permission slip and an initial reader’s notebook entry form.
Ruth Ayres challenges us to be more open to the books that live in our secondary classroom libraries. She contends that committing to supporting choice in independent reading means rethinking some of the restrictions we put on adolescent readers.
In this encore video, Hannah shares her notebook, where she highlights the setting and characters, as well as makes predictions. In this video series, Franki Sibberson’s fifth graders share their strategies for annotating the class read-aloud, The Girl Who Drank the Moon. Students have their choice of using notebooks or tech devices, and can pick any strategy that helps them make sense of the story.
The Deep Dive course Getting Organized for Literacy Coaching with Ruth Ayres is now available for free to Literacy Leader members. In this course, experienced literacy coaches unzip their bags to share what they carry into classrooms and open up their coaching notebooks to show you the pages and lessons they can’t live without. You’ll finish the course with sample calendars, templates, checklists, and insider tips for launching your coaching year with confidence and enthusiasm. The best time to get organized is now! (This course was created in 2019.)
In a Coaching Minute, Ruth Ayres shares the reason why norms are important for professional learning sessions. This is the first installment in a series about norms for professional learning.
Don’t forget our downloads! Jennifer Allen describes a protocol for analyzing student work in teacher study groups and staff meetings. Included is a template to guide conversations and reflection about student work.
Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.
That’s all for this week!